Srinagar: Inspector general of police (Traffic) Basant Rath earned applause from former director general of police SP Vaid on Monday.
Vaid was reacting to rumours about the transfer of Rath from traffic. There was no official confirmation about the transfer and he contiued to issue advisory about traffic on Twitter.
“Social media agog with rumours of transfer of Basant Rath IGP Traffic; I hope it isn’t true,” Vaid tweeted.
Praising the top traffic police officer, he said, he may follow “unorthodox ways, but his honesty and dynamism is appreciable & commendable.”
Rath is popular among people in the Valley especially youth. He has become a social media sensation for strict enforcement of traffic laws on roads. The 2000-batch IPS officer is known for sparing none including politicians. This has earned him ire of the powerful lobby, who are all fire against him.
Last week, he hit at newly elected Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu on Twitter telling him traffic management was not his domain. This fueled speculation that Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conferences which is close to BJP might put some pressure for Rath’s removal from the top post.
His followers on social media supported him for his policing.
“Those talking Good Governance & Accountability have reportedly removed IGP traffic Basant Rath,” wrote MLA Langate Engineer Rasheed on Facebook. “He has been victimised for being honest, secular & dedicated. Those who took to streets against him in Jammu have achieved nothing except exposing BJP’s vote bank politics & narrow thinking.”
Another Facebook user, Syed Shakir went a step ahead and wrote, “Dear Poet-cop, you have already won our hearts.
Kashmir (Srinagar) loves you.”
The story has been updated and Eng Rasheed’s quote was wrongly attributed to another Facebook user.